Cost Of Prescriptions In England Set To Rise Once Again
The cost of prescriptions in England is set to rise to £9, an increase of 20p - a year after they rose to their highest ever price.
According to the Prescription Charges Coalition the news is 'catastrophic' for working households up and down the country.
The Government announced that changes to pricing will come in on 1 April, with the cost of wigs and fabric support, like spinal supports, rising with inflation.
So what do the changes look like?
The cost of surgical bras will go up from £28.85 to £29.50, while synthetic wigs will jump up from their current price of £71.25 to £72.80. The cost of partial human wigs will soon cost patients £192.85, up from £188.70.
Full bespoke human hair wigs will also rise from £275.95 to £282.
And the changes also see abdominal or spinal supports up by 95p, from £43.60 to £44.55.
Chair of the Prescription Charges Coalition, Lloyd Tingley, said it will hit working people in the pockets.
He said: "It is extremely disappointing that yet again the Government plans to increase prescription charges.
"Since 2010 the prescription charge has risen by 26 percent, compared to a rise in average earnings of 16 percent over the same period. Working age people with long term conditions simply can't sustain this.
"We already know that one in three people with long-term conditions do not collect all their essential medication due to cost, which inevitably leads to ill-health."
The chair went on to claim the price rise went against the very tenants of the new NHS Long-Term Plan.
He added: "While it is positive that the cost of the prepayment certificate has been frozen, this is still a large upfront cost for individuals and families who the Government should be helping, not punishing, for having a long-term condition."
The changes aren't universal, however. The price of the prescription prepayment certificate - known as a medical season ticket - which covers the cost of all prescriptions for a set period, will remain the same at £29.10 for three months and £104 for a year.
This is 'to ensure that those with the greatest need, and who are not already exempt from the charge, are protected'.
If you are 16 or over 60, aged 16-18 and in full-time education, pregnant, or on income support, you may be entitled to free medicine - just fill out the checklist on the back of the prescription form when you pick it up from the pharmacist.
Prescriptions will remain free for those in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Featured Image Credit: PA